Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adding Insult To Injury

This spate of injuries is really getting old.

We lost Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils today through retirement, meaning that one quarter of today's matches ended in injury and walking off the court. I know it's not exactly their fault that they're injured and I could use this to prompt a discussion on the schedule and stuff, but guys, really? If you're that injured, why are you playing?

I didn't see the matches so I don't know whether they were carrying these injuries into the match or whether they became injured in the course of a match. Injured in the course of a match I get - ain't nothing you can do about that. But if you know your body can't go the distance for the tournament, then you shouldn't play. Roger Federer (all hail) said once that he doesn't retire - if he's injured, he just doesn't walk on court. I think this is a really good way to do things - in fact, it's the way he's done things this week. He's still sore and needs rest, so he didn't play.

Let's face it - the guys in the top fifty are not the only tennis players in the world. There are people playing qualies and pre-qualies for tournaments like these that must gnash their teeth every time they see someone retire due to a carried injury. It's a waste of a spot and a waste of a match that these slightly lower-ranked guys would kill to play. And by half-heartedly committing to tournaments like this and then pulling out, the higher-ranked guys are wasting opportunities that these lower-ranked guys would kill off. It's rude to the lower-ranked guys and it's insulting to the tournament and to the sport.

If you're not prepared to play a full tournament, then don't step on the court. Because there are people who want to. Desperately.

Today's Results

Shanghai ATP Masters 1000 (Shanghai)

Rafael Nadal def. Tommy Robredo, 6-1 6-4
Novak Djokovic def. Rainer Schuettler, 6-4 6-2
Robin Soderling def. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-3 6-3
Gilles Simon def. Tomas Berdych. 6-3 6-4
Nikolay Davydenko def. Fernando Gonzalez, 6-3 7-5
Ivan Ljubicic def. Gael Monfils, 6-2 3-0 retired
Radek Stepanek def. Stanislas Wawrinka, 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 4-2 retired
Feliciano Lopez def. Jurgen Melzer, 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-1

Generali Ladies Linz (Linz)

Flavia Pennetta def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 6-3 4-6 6-2
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Alize Cornet, 6-4 7-5
Yanina Wickmayer def. Alexandra Dulgheru, 2-6 6-3 6-1
Lucie Safarova def. Urszula Radwanska, 6-4 6-4
Ioana Raluca Olaru def. Julia Goerges, 3-6 6-2 7-5

HP Open (Osaka)

Caroline Wozniacki def. Katie O'Brien, 6-0 6-1
Samantha Stosur def. Akiko Morigami, 6-1 6-2
Aleksandra Wozniak def. Chang Kai-Chen, 7-5 7-6 (7-2)
Jill Craybas def. Mathilde Johansson, 2-6 6-2 6-0


TopSpin said...

"There are people playing qualies and pre-qualies for tournaments like these that must gnash their teeth every time they see someone retire due to a carried injury."

Hear hear!

This last week hasn't been a proud one for the guys. You make a great point about the lower ranked players, busting their guts out in qualies.

I do recognise the demands of the long season, but as you say, if you really are hurt, file a sick note and take some rest, rather than turning in a token appearance to keep the sponsors and the organisers happy.

James said...

The tennis season is to freakin long. How many other sports have an 11 month season? THe paparazzi would appreciate it if tennis players took time off so they could capture more players in private scandals. The only thing the paparazzi catches them doing now is practicing....sad.

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